Feast Your Eyes

Local designers have been putting their stamp on Maine’s restaurant scene. Check out these stylish new places to sip or sup.

Maine's restaurant scene, Tuscan Table
Photograph by Jonathan Reece

Tuscan Table

The Space: An 8,000-square-foot, rustic-chic Italian restaurant, designed by Nicola Manganello, of Nicola’s Home in Yarmouth, that stands out among South Portland’s mall-side chains.

Design Details: Manganello’s vision of “an airy space with Old World touches” is revealed in the layering of terracotta and stone floor tiles, bamboo pendants inspired by New Zealand fishing baskets, and wallpaper that effects ancient plaster against the warehouse-like backdrop. A chrysanthemum-like pendant over the hostess table, 17-foot-tall sunflower mural in the stairwell, and orange pillows dotted with pink thistles on the seats convey a fresh nature theme.

Tastes as Good as It Looks: House-made capellini in parsley-lemon butter with jumbo shrimp and Maine mussels and lobster: $25.

390 Gorham Rd., South Portland. 207-536-0240. tuscantablemaine.com

Sagamore Hill, Maine's restaurant scene
Photograph courtesy of Sagamore Hill

Sagamore Hill

The Space: The lobby of a Teddy Roosevelt–era Portland building, reborn as a cocktail lounge, courtesy of Portland’s Kaplan Thompson Architects, New Gloucester builders Burnham & Lobozzo, and designer Tracy Davis, of Portland’s Urban Dwellings, and named after the trustbuster’s New York home.

Design Details: A wooden framework that evokes a ship’s hull over the bar, vintage taxidermy, and antique photos pay homage to the Rough Rider and his Naval and sportsman’s pursuits. Drapery-like corrugated metal walls, and notes of leather and brass drive home the moody, masculine vibe.

Tastes as Good as It Looks: The Mount Vernon Cocktail — whiskey, apple brandy, lemon juice, cardamom- brown sugar syrup, and bitters: $12.

150 Park St., Portland. 207-808-8622. sagamorehillmaine.com

Dunstan Tap & Table
Photograph by Erin Little

Dunstan Tap & Table

The Space: A neighborhood pub in Scarborough’s Dunstan Crossing development, designed by Tyler Karu, of Portland’s Tyler Karu Design + Interiors, featuring a patio with Adirondack chairs, cornhole, and a fire pit.

Design Details: Karu went for a Scandinavian-meets-seaside look with pale, Douglas fir tables by South Portland’s NMT Woodworking, modern Windsor chairs, powder blue-painted beadboard, and aqua subway tile behind the bar. Complementary orange pops on seating and pendants lend energy, while the bathroom wallpaper offers a diversion. Look for Beastie Boy Mike Diamond’s Brooklyn Toile in the men’s room and Victorian ladies frolicking with insects in the women’s.

Tastes as Good as It Looks: Lemon-and-honey–brined roasted chicken in a thyme-butter sauce with mashed potatoes and roasted broccoli: $20.

6 Stewart Dr., Scarborough. 207-219-8024. dunstantapandtable.com